Stating the Obvious

August 13, 2022 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Dawn Wilson –

I’m inclined to make obvious points. As a young wife, complaining about my body image one day, I told my husband, “I’d be a lot taller if my legs were longer.”

“You think?” he said, grinning.

I get a kick out of obvious statements like this one in a survey report: “Three out of four people make up 75 percent of the world’s population.”

No kidding.

Or how about this exchange in the crime novel Red Harvest:

“‘Who shot him?’ I asked.

“The grey man scratched the back of his neck and said, ‘Somebody with a gun.’” LOL!

This quirky malady—which I call status obviousitis—shows up in advertising a lot. A package of airline peanuts reads: “Eat after opening.” An umbrella stroller comes with these directions: “Remove baby before folding.”

Wordsmiths aren’t exempt either. One journalist’s headline declared, “Death Is Nation’s Top Killer!”

But stating the obvious can be useful; sometimes it’s part of a message God may want us to hear. I recall a pastor who said, “You can’t read your Bible unless you open it.” The congregation snickered, but got his point.

My husband says something similar. “You can’t put your Bible under your pillow at night,” Bob jokes, “and expect to learn God’s Word by osmosis.”

So I wondered whether Jesus ever stated the obvious, and I discovered He did.

In Luke 8:16, Jesus said, “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed”—an obvious conclusion. A listener would say, “That makes sense.”

Jesus continued, explaining how a person puts the lamp on a stand, “that those who enter may see the light” (Luke 8:16 NKJV). It was a lesson about how we can light up our world.

Sometimes Jesus asked an obvious question.

Remember the man by the pool of Bethesda in John 5? Many of the Jews believed an angel stirred up the waters of that pool to bring healing to people. But when a man saw Jesus, he cried out for help from the Healer Himself. Jesus responded in verse 6: “Do you want to be made well?” (NKJV).

Why did Jesus ask that? Wasn’t it obvious? Maybe Jesus just wanted the man to express the cry in his heart. Or maybe He wanted the man to become part of the healing event—a willing participant; and Jesus did heal him (5:8-9).

Sometimes, drawing attention to the obvious can open the door for us to help others hear a deeper truth. For example: “When you stop breathing, you die; and then what?” or “God created this world and He best understands how it works.”

Keep in mind, obvious statements may not be welcome, especially with one who rejects the existence or intervention of God. But for most people, we can start with simple, well-reasoned-but-obvious statements to create a climate for them to consider biblical truth.

Christianity is based on faith, but it requires us to think.

We can invite people to consider the world’s design, simple moral and ethical principles that people seem to instinctively understand and other “first” thoughts—thoughts that should be obvious.

In this crazy, mixed-up culture, we need to be brave and speak up, especially when declaring the obvious might help the world understand more about the God who loves us.

About Dawn Wilson

Dawn Wilson (; www.heartchoicestoday.blogspot;—co-author of LOL with God: Devotional Messages of Hope and Humor for Women—writes for Christian Examiner and two national ministries. She equips women to make godly choices, and encourages evangelical women in leadership. She delights in God, her husband Bob, three granddaughters, and a pup named Roscoe.
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